Christmas In July Pop Up Page

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With Christmas in July only just over a week away, what better way to start your preparations than checking out our Pop-up Page… and for our friends in the Northern hemisphere, here’s a great article on why we have two Christmases on this side of the world. Why do Australians celebrate Christmas in July? We aren’t crazy, well not much!

We have all our Christmas recipes there along with great craft ideas and helpful tips for present giving.

If you have any great ideas or links you would like to share for this festive season, go for it!

Finding Feasts - Paper Snowflakes Christmas Decorations

A very Merry mid year Christmas from Blondie ‘n’ Bella.

Christmas Floral Head Wreaths w/ Berries

Christmas Floral Head Wreaths w/ Berries … A Christmas tradition that we no doubt all do is sit around the Christmas table, make a toast and then pop a Christmas cracker with our nearest and dearest.

I love these traditions and we have actually got some really great knick knacks as a gift from the crackers. The one most used is a set of mini screwdrivers (it’s amazing how many things need a really small screwdriver!) But I absolutely hate the flimsy paper crowns that we all feel obliged to wear in celebration of this yearly event.

Finding Feasts - Christmas Floral Head Wreath

So for all the people out there (females and males) who are completely over those awful things on our heads, that do nothing to enhance us in photos, and just act as blotting papers for our foreheads in our hot Aussie summers, I have decided to start a new tradition within our family Christmas and design floral head wreaths.

Finding Feasts - Christmas Floral Head Wreath

Although I have no time this year to make my preferred fresh leaf wreath (every minute from this point on is allocated, absolutely every minute) I insist on doing it. So I gathered four sprigs of plastic, snow covered branches and another four little cranberry springs from the $2 shop, a packet of floral wire (would have used floral tape also to neaten the final look but couldn’t find it in time) and this is it. My five 2015 Floral Berry Head Wreaths.

A very berry Christmas! Blondie

Sardine Dip with Christmas Bread Dippers

Finding Feasts - Sardine Dip w Christmas Dippers
Click image for recipe

Sardine Dip with Christmas Bread Dippers is a tasty alternative to the creamy dips that often accompany the chips at party tables. There is the deliciously fishy hit of the sardines with bursts of capers and pickles to cut through it. Serve with some Christmas star dippers (or any other shape that takes your fancy) and you have a ridiculously quick entertainer.

Dip away! Blondie

Chilli, Lemon & Smoked Paprika Flavoured Salt

Finding Feasts - Flavoured-Salt

Spice up your Christmas with this chili, lemon and smoked paprika salt rub.

I always buy store rubs and spice mixes but it never occurred to me until very recently that I could make my own. I was at our local fair in October and it was there that I came across the most divine smoked sea salt rub!

Our family eats quite a fair bit of chicken so I am forever looking at new ways of adding flavour to the Sunday roast.

I had a packet of sea salt flakes sitting in the cupboard so when the weekend came I got inventive. This rub has a beautiful smoky paprika aroma and I guarantee it will make a roast chicken taste amazing!

Bella

Christmas Brandy Cherries

Finding Feasts - Brandy Cherries
Click image for recipe

Like Blondie I too love Christmas. I love the lights, the songs, the decorations and the FOOD!

Growing up, like most kids, Christmas for me was all about the presents. Which kid in their right mind would say that it’s about anything else but that? Miss H starts making making her Santa wish list as soon as Halloween is done and dusted.

Christmas for me as an adult is all about the food and plenty of it, and maybe the odd occasional glass of wine or champagne…OK a lot actually! The present side of things frustrates me. Everyone seems to get flustered about the perfect. You hear so many stories of gifts being re-packaged or shoved in the bottom of the draw, never to see daylight again. I too have been guilty of this!

Last year I decided to experiment a little and have a go at making my own edible gifts!

Kicking off gift No. 1 idea are these Brandy Cherries.

The cherry season is in full swing and depending on where you shop you can pick them up for about $15 per kilo.

Just in time for summer desserts and Christmas cocktails!

Bella

Kids Christmas Trifle – the cheats version

Easy Christmas trifle
Click image for recipe

Kids Christmas Trifle – the cheats version … Sometimes you just need to have something on the table, especially when you’ve forgotten or have no time to think. This is where this great looking but super easy dessert comes in… I was in need of a kid’s dessert for Christmas and I had run out of time to really sit down and plan something.

You can certainly make your own jam/jelly rolls and custard. Even take the time to make a true fruit jelly but if the last thing you have is time then this is it, just perfect for the kids christmas table.

This is a feel as you go type recipe as everyone will have a different size vessel, just buy a little more than you expect.

Tips:

If you don’t have a large, clear trifle bowl (and who does really) then pop into your local St.Vincents de Paul or Salvos or any op shop and buy a glass vase for next to nothing, which is what I did… At least you can use it for flowers afterwards.

Assign your kids to making it as they will love the sculpting and designing of such a centre piece.

To hasten the setting time of the jelly be sure to use a shallow tray (roasting tray if need be) rather than a deep bowl.

Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets

Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets
Click image for recipe

Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets – It’s party time! Birthday parties, Christmas parties, end of work parties… parties everywhere!

Finding Feasts Recipes

 

So, what do you make to feed to the masses? These Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets are a must for six very good reasons…

  1. You can make lots of them very easily – plan on 2 to 3 per person.
  2. A great stomach filler – ideal for when drinking. Plus, it’s always such a disappointment when food doesn’t sustain you when at a party, especially when the party is around lunch time or dinner time.
  3. They can easily be eaten with one hand – very important as bubbles will be permanently occupying the other.
  4. Mess free – you want the bling to be from champagne and diamonds not drips of oil.
  5. These can be made ahead of time and then frozen, if necessary.
  6. You can serve them hot or cold – Great for parties at a park, think Glamour Picnic Parties… just don’t forget your heel protectors!

Hot Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartlets

Happy party season!  Blondie & Bella